Round-leaf bluebell blooming in open pine forest on Missoula Flood sandbars between Five Mile and the Little Spokane River, Spokane County, WA......June 29, 2018.
This plant is also known as Scotch bluebell, bluebell of Scotland, or lady's-thimble. It is a perennial wildflower with one to several ascending to erect stems from 13-40 cm high. It is mostly glabrous above but may have minute hairs on the lower stem and lower leaves. The basal leaves are oblanceolate to orbicular or broadly ovate in shape with small teeth on the margins. They measure 7-30 mm long with the blades 4-11 mm long and they often have withered by flowering time. The stem leaves are alternate on the stems and are lanceolate to linear in shape. The lower stem leaves have short petioles while the upper leaves are sessile. The individual stem leaves vary from 3-28 mm long and 0.4-1.5 mm wide.
The flowers vary from single blooms at the tips of the stems to open racemes of up to 20 flowers. The buds are ascending while open flowers are held to the side or are nodding. Each of the 5 calyx segments is narrowly triangular in outline and 3.5-8.5 mm long and 0.5-2 mm wide at the base. The corolla is a broad bell from 12-20 mm long with the mouth from 11-29 mm wide. Five lobes (up to one-half the length of the tube) flare away from the mouth of the corolla (See photos.). Flower color is mostly purplish-blue although white is possible. The style is shorter than or equal in length to the corolla tube and is tipped with 3 short stigma lobes. The anthers are 5-7 mm long.
Round-leaf bluebell is suitable for use in the garden. Plants grow, flower and reseed readily to the point where it becomes somewhat weedy. My experience is that it is a long bloomer (several months at midsummer) but plants tend to become very leggy with stems that flop to the side when exposed to watering in the garden.
Round-leaf bluebell may be found on open or lightly wooded slopes.
Round-leaf bluebell may be found from the Arctic south in the mountains through the Pacific Northwest to northern California, Texas, and New Mexico.
The photo above shows a close-up of the bell-shaped corolla and narrow, spreading calyx lobes of round-leaf bluebell as seen from the southeastern slopes of Mt. Adams................July 10, 2005.